3/17: Bon Odori band Team Kawachi Ondo to be back at Cherry Blossom Festival in Glendale on Sunday March 17 at 2PM

The Friends of Shoseian (Whispering Pine) Teahouse in Glendale presents “Sakura Matsuri” (Cherry Blossom Festival) at the Japan Friendship Garden in Brand Library Park, 1601 West Mountain Street, Glendale, CA 91201, on Sunday, March 17, 2024 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is free.

One of the highlights of the Cherry Blossom Festival is the SoCal’s best Bon Odori band called Team Kawachi Ondo. This band was invited to the festival last year.

From 2:00 pm, Team Kawachi Ondo will be performing songs that everyone is familiar with, such as Tanko Bushi, Osaka’s old folksong Kawachi Ondo, and a famous dance song Dancing Hero by Yoko Oginome.

Team Kawachi Ondo consists of village dancers. Everybody can participate in this group. Team Kawachi Ondo is looking for volunteers who can dance for the 30 minutes Bon Odori show.

Dancers don’t need to dress Japanese attire such as yukata or kimono. Dancers may wear a Dodgers uniform, or just put happi coat on. Bon Odori is easy village dance.

Team Kawachi Ondo will send Bon Odori dance tutorial videos via Messenger or email upon request. For those who like to learn how to dance Bon Odori, contact Team Kawachi Ondo at LAKansai.Club@gmail.com.

Team Kawachi Ondo was formed in 2019 around South Bay area. The most of the members come from the LA Kansai Club, a non-profit Japanese hometown association for Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Hyogo prefectures in Japan.

Team Kawachi Ondo is the only Bon Odori music band in Los Angeles area with multiple singers, guitarists, taiko drums, and shinobi flute.

Team Kawachi Ondo is actively performing in local community events such as New Year’s, Summer Festivals and private parties.

Last year, they were invited to play at the Chicago-Osaka Sister City 50th anniversary event in Chicago, and at a big festival in Arizona.

For people who are interested in becoming members of the LA Kansai Club, there will be chance to meet Dr. Shinichi Hirokawa, newly elected president of the LA Kansai Club and the lead singer of the Team Kawachi Ondo after the performance at the Japanese garden in Glendale. To make appointment, contact at LAKansai.Club@gmail.com

The program of the Cherry Blossom Festival starts with Koto demonstration performed by Saeko Kujiraoka at 10:00 am followed by Japanese dancing and martial arts.

The Cherry Blossom Festival also features traditional tea ceremony, and kimono fashion shows, for introducing Japan culture.

The Shoseian (Whispering Pine) Teahouse was built in 1974 through combined efforts of the Sister Cities of Glendale and Higashi-Osaka, Osaka, Japan. This lovely Japanese garden is usually open for membership only, but for the day of the Cherry Blossom Festival, it is open to the public for free.

The Hachisuka cherry blossom trees planted before Corona Pandemic are getting bigger. The Cherry Blossom Fesival is the time to view its blooming flowers. This festival is perfect occasion to go on a family excursion or have a picnic with friends.